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In the middle of a thoughtful Instagram post about the ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd, Whoopi Goldberg stopped to clearly tell looters who are taking advantage of peaceful protests to knock it off and understand how their actions are hurting people — including people they care about.
The liberal actress and co-host of “The View” recorded and posted a video message Wednesday offering her take on the protests and the progress that’s going on in America in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of four Minneapolis cops.
In it, Goldberg said that folks are “being forced to look at something” that they’ve felt they were already able to see. But now that feeling is “different.” She lauded the fact that all sorts of people who aren’t black are peacefully taking to the streets to say “enough is enough” and experiencing the “response that they’re getting.” She noted that “parents — moms and dads — are walking with their kids.”
Then she paused and spoke directly to the looters and rioters who have been committing violence and destruction in cities nationwide.
And she was very clear that the criminality had to come to an end: They have “destroyed” too many dreams and lives and are putting their own families in danger.
“All you looters, you need to stop,” she said. “Because you’ve destroyed too many people’s dreams around the country. You have made it impossible for a lot of people to get back to their lives.
“I’m just saying, all you looters,” she continued, “just know your grandmother, your mother’s mother, your brother’s sister, your cousin’s baby can’t get their medication because you burned down the pharmacy, or you burned down the bus stop.”
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After scolding the looters, Goldberg offered her take on how the country might reconsider the process of handing out badges. She added that knowing cops’ state of mind and forcing them to talk about what they’re facing is a good thing — not something that should be ignored.
“I’m just saying, maybe better background checks on the people who want to become police officers. Because, you know, that a big job to hand somebody a gun,” she said. “So I would rather know that their state of mind is good and force this idea of having to talk to somebody about it.”
And she was sympathetic to cops and the stress that comes with their duties, noting that the nation is seeing good things happen when police and the people talk about those stresses.
“There’s nothing wrong with realizing you’re overwhelmed. I can’t imagine that cops on the front line right now are not overwhelmed,” she said. “But they’re talking to each other and they’re talking to the demonstrators. And they’re saying the things that people need to hear, like, ‘What happened in Minnesota was unconscionable and we don’t want to be that to you. We don’t ever want to be that to you. Let us start this conversation.'”
Those kinds of conversations are what will lead to actual change where it’s needed because everyday citizens who are new to the discussions are beginning to understand, she said.
“That’s meaningful change, because when the police recognize that there’s a problem, we’ll be able to change it,” Goldberg said. “And now, people are saying, ‘We see it. I hear it. I understand it.'”